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Bench Press, whiskey helped build Hall of Fame career

  • David Ortiz will be the only player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
  • Ortiz won three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2016.
  • He says his lifestyle at that time revolved around the bench press and whiskey.

David Ortiz will be the only player inducted into this year’s Pro Baseball Hall of Fame class. He says bench press and whiskey are the reasons.

Ortiz, who played 19 seasons in MLB after arriving in the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1992, became a folk hero for the Boston Red Sox from 2003-16 when he helped lead the team to three World Series titles in the franchise’s all-time playoffs. leader in the home run, with 17.

Throughout his career, he said he embraced different lifestyle assets that helped ground his success on the court, and the bench press and whiskey were the most prominent.

Bench presses boosted Ortiz’s punching power after Manny Ramirez inspired him to embrace strength training

The bench press was key because it helped Ortiz build the upper-body strength that fueled the historic 17 playoff home runs for the Red Sox.

“I believe the repetition of the bench press is where I feel like I’ve pulled my power,” Ortiz said. “Before, my bat was lighter. It gave me a feeling of mental and physical comfort that accompanied my power.”

The 10-time star player said the heaviest weight he’s ever benched was 400 pounds, and he did it in the Red Sox’s team practice room in 2006, the year he hit a league-leading 54 homers.

But Ortiz was unwilling to embrace the bench press and fitness as a whole when he first joined the Red Sox, and that was until his former teammate and Red Sox hero , Manny Ramirez, invites him to join his daily training routine with his private trainers during Ortiz’s first spring training in Boston in 2003.

Ortiz began training at 6 a.m. each day for six hours until the team prepared for a spring training exhibition game at noon, then went to work with Ramirez after the game. , and the sessions lasted two or three hours.

“All of the training was based on routines, reps in weightlifting,” Ortiz said. “I remember coming home, I was dead, then I had to get up the next day at six to go to the pitch. So that time was tough for me, but once I got there used to it, it made me super ready for whenever my opportunity presented itself.”

Ortiz said he never would have learned to bench press or be the player he became in Boston if Ramirez hadn’t put him through that spring training routine in 2003.

David Ortiz and Obama


AP Photo/Manuel Balcé Ceneta


Ortiz developed a love for whiskey when he came to Boston and used that as motivation

Ortiz said he became a whiskey guy when he came to the Red Sox in 2003, and it became his favorite party drink, alongside champagne, after big wins for the Red Sox, and his love for the drink motivated him to go the extra mile to help his team win every night.

Champagne was the drink of choice for all players after big playoff wins on the field and in the clubhouse, but Ortiz preferred whiskey to celebrate once he left Fenway Park after the game.

“Once you got home and settled down or went to the club with someone, whiskey was my thing!” he said.

Ortiz loved whiskey so much that he launched his own line of whiskey with the liquor brand Whistlepig Whiskey. It is aged for six years and finished in barrels containing grilled baseball bats.

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